Peter Sagan has said that he would swap one of his three green jerseys at the Tour de France for a victory in the Classics. Sagan's increasing frustration at missing out in the monuments has become evident, as the questions as to why he hasn't won one continue to mount. He has had a few close calls and, probably, the closest of those was the 2013 Milan-San Remo where Gerald Ciolek surprised the bunch to take victory.
"I would exchange at least one for a success in a big Classic," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Sagan hopes that the move to Tinkoff-Saxo for three years can provide the momentum that can help him win a monument. "This is the first real technical breakthrough in my career. I have to start winning the great Classics, and at the same time continue to have fun on a bike," he said. "I had a lot of offers, I chose Tinkoff, especially Riis, I knew him and he is a great leader.
"Now I want to hear what will be the team's recommendations, programs and tactics. Maybe it was a change that I needed."
The 24-year-old will also be targetting a fourth consecutive green jersey at the 2015 Tour de France, which would put him two off the all-time record of six set by Erik Zabel. That task will be made a touch trickier because of two factors, however. The points system will be changing to favour the stage winners, something Sagan was unable to do in 2014. He will also have to share the team support with general classification contender Alberto Contador, who plans to attempt the Giro-Tour double next season.
Sagan says that he is not concerned by this. "It happened already in 2012 with Liquigas. Nibali finished third and I conquered the green jersey. The team will have to work and so they will be in front of me too."
After returning from his holidays around North America, Sagan is taking on his first challenge with his new Tinkoff-Saxo teammates, as the Slovakian continues in his attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The team began its trek on Saturday and are attempting to get at least 90 per cent of the 80 riders and staff to the top. It's not totally new ground for Sagan, who has experience at such high altitudes.
"I was in the Himalayas, in the area of Everest, reaching up to 5,500 metres above sea level. You have to do everything step by step. Go up, stop, acclimatise and climb again. Otherwise you cannot eat or sleep, breathing is difficult and you turn your head."
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